One of the many features we generally look when evaluating all-in-one computers in the CRN Test Center is the ability to use the unit's display as a stand-alone monitor, apart from its computer innards. That way, such units can continue to be useful after the computer portion becomes obsolete, or can sometimes be used to extend the desktop space for a connected laptop.
Bringing that idea to handheld devices is Shape AG and its iDisplay. The $4.99 app for Android or iOS turns any iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet into an external monitor for Mac OS X or Windows PCs.
Simply download the app from the AppStore or Google Play and download the desktop app for Mac OS X (10.5 or higher) or Windows XP, Vista or 7. After rebooting and launching the app on both sides, connect the devices with a USB cable and the desktop automatically extends to the handheld device. To the host operating system, the device appears as an external monitor, and is controllable from the Mac OS X's System Preferences or the Display Control Panel on Windows.
Updated on May 17, iDisplay for Android 2.1.0 significantly increases performance of desktop mirroring and is optimized for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Also added is a zoom feature with 1.5x, 2x and 4x, and more precise cursor pointing. The company is working on versions for Google TV and the BlackBerry PlayBook.